Forget the noise, our airports need a major upgrade
The "seats for sale" restriction and George Best Belfast City Airport's proposal to scrap it should be seen in proper perspective, both by those attending the public inquiry and others with an interest in aviation.
Residents who claim that they fear "intolerable" noise levels should really get a grip on this unjustified phobia.
Twenty years ago I lived for some months close to the international airport in Manchester. During the daytime planes were landing every 15 minutes.
When they came down the flight path to land, you could see the passengers sitting in their seats; and, yes, there was noise, but the residents (with double or triple glazing) did not constantly complain about it.
The airport bosses - quite rightly - want to lift the "seats for sale" limit to increase services and profits, and also to create jobs and attract new airlines.
Both an extension to the runway and an airport hotel should also be provided. And such improvements will surely be of benefit to Northern Ireland.
Indeed, George Best Belfast City Airport and Belfast International Airport should be joined to their nearby railways. It is totally ridiculous that such links are so close, yet still unconnected.
What is more, a paramount consideration in any evaluation of "seats for sale" really must take into account recent improvements in aircraft construction.
New, modern airliners, both large and small, have been upgraded over the years with engines that are now more fuel-efficient and, above all, emit less pollution and make far less noise.
NEIL C OLIVER
Newtownards, Co Down